The Tomato

Photo: via OSAP. Edits: Rame Abdulkader.

Fulcrum hopes OSAP will help pay staff for 2019-20 school year

“It’s a sad situation. With the changes to tuition from the Ford government, we may not get our full funding and need to apply for OSAP,”  Fulcrum editor-in-chief Anchal Sharma said on the weekend.

Some may be wondering how it came to this. The Tomato has the scoop.

This year, the Fulcrum’s parents broke up — the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) and the University of Ottawa filed for divorce after students told the SFUO that they were never ever getting back together.

However, the U of O bounced back quickly from the split, meeting the Fulcrum’s new stepdad, the University of Ottawa Students’ Union (UOSU), in the same week. Sadly for the Fulcrum, the U of O’s  multi-millionaire status may prevent them from receiving any OSAP funding from the provincial government.

If the Fulcrum doesn’t receive its funding, the paper may look to other options, said incoming editor-in-chief Matt Gergyek, noting that putting out ads for sugar parents is not off the table.  

According to Gergyek, the funds are needed to hire important staff such a news editor and art director.

“With the upcoming UOSU service opt-in referendum we are left with no other choice, we have to apply for OSAP to get any funding … best case scenario, we get enough funds to hire a news editor next year,’’ Gergyek said.

The Fulcrum’s board of directors has been trying to come up with a budget that would keep the paper from having to apply for OSAP but have sadly not been able to come up with any sustainable plans.

Somehow voted by its fellow comrades the 2018-19 Canadian University Publication of the year at the latest journalism conference in Calgary, the Fulcrum is hoping its high praises result in an OSAP amount constituted of mostly grants — like many students, the Fulcrum has no idea how to repay the government loans.

Savannah Awde, former editor-in-chief and current managing editor talked about the importance of the Fulcrum receiving its OSAP funding in grants.

“I’ve been here for a  long time and I think we do really good work here. The Tomato was pretty dominant and broke some key stories this year that left a lasting stain on the fabric of our campus, but we came close to that caliber a few times” Awde said.

“If we don’t get grants, I hope at least we get accepted for OSAP. I want others to get the same chance I got here at the Fulcrum.”    

Without any OSAP funding, the Fulcrum will be forced to eliminate a big portion of its staff positions, and may not be able to provide the best coverage of news happening on campus.

But hopefully, students will opt-in to the Fulcrum in high numbers, and the government will come through with some nice grants for the Fulcrum.

If not, at least you’ll have dutiful investigative coverage here at the Tomato.